Keystone Law has hired ten lawyers, including six partners, from firms including Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) and Davenport Lyons.
The firm, whose lawyers work remotely from home, satellite offices or client offices, has also attracted Nokia’s director of legal and IP Stephen McCue.
Other senior hires include BLP environmental partner Andrew Waite; Davenport Lyons dispute resolution partner Trevor Sear;, Marriott Harrison corporate partner Dee Sian; Mundays employment partner Denham Bell; and Donaldson West commercial property partner Wendy Bishop.
Keystone operates a performance-based remuneration structure rather than paying conventional salaries. Lawyers receive support from a central London office, which provides meeting rooms and support staff and performs the firm’s administrative functions.
According to Keystone’s managing partner James Knight, the model means fee-earners are freed up from running a legal practice and that cost savings can be passed on to clients. Speaking to Legal Business about the hires, Knight said: ‘Most solicitors want to practise law but management meetings and committee meetings, coupled with billing targets, has caused frustration. There is also a lot of office politics. The atmosphere in a lot of law firms is not fun.
‘We offer value for money, there’s no duplication, for instance paying both a senior associate and a junior lawyer,’ he added.
Part of the firm’s success is due to its bespoke IT system, ‘Keyed-In’. Knight says that this allows for lawyers to act seamlessly and that document assembly tools are available remotely, meaning that solicitors are not tied to an office.
According to Knight, Keystone is well on its way to achieving its plans to increase its turnover to £25m over the next three years. Its clients include ING Real Estate, Lloyds Pharmacy, LoveFilm, Neal’s Yard, Sodexo and Stagecoach.